You’ve probably seen articles and lists plastered all over the internet, claiming to know the next best “hidden” gem in Tennessee – but here’s the thing. Sometimes classic is best, and Tennessee is nothing if not a classy lady. We’ve pulled together 15 golden oldies around the state that make for beautiful vacations and day trips and weekends away. Did your favorite spot make the list?
15. Shelby Farms
This huge Memphis park runs right along the Mississippi River, providing sweeping views of the water and perfect walking trails when you need to get the wiggles out a bit.
14. Titanic Museum
13. The Ryman Auditorium
This Nashville-based venue is known around the world for its iconic shows and acoustics, a bucket list venue for musicians everywhere and the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. If the Mother Church isn't the heart of Nashville, we just don't know what is.
12. Cummins Falls
Yes. Cummins Falls is a DREAM during the summertime, but we'd recommend you come during the spring - it gets pretty choked up with tourists and you're going to want the magnificent breadth of this stunning natural phenomenon all to yourself.
11. Live and Let Live Drugstore
This nostalgic ode to the traditional old-fashioned soda fountain, Live and Let Live is a sweet step back in time that's perfect for folks who are looking to invest in a true southern experience. We're a little bit jealous of the folks that live in Rockwood...what a beautiful place to have on repeat.
10. Arrington Vineyards
Arrington Vineyards is located just south of Nashville, and is a local watering hole and picnic spot during the warmer months. Great for tours or a simple space to lay out a blanket and let your kiddos run, this is a not-so-hidden gem that's perfect for the whole family.
9. Reelfoot Lake
Reelfoot Lake was created by a series of earthquakes in the early 1800's, known as the New Madrid Earthquakes. It has since become a popular tourist and local hangout, mainly because it's BEAUTIFUL.
8. Voodoo Village
Located in Memphis, Voodoo Village is located on private property and no tourists should make their way onto the grounds - here's a quick shot of this mysterious and stunning piece of artwork in west Tennessee. Also known as, "St. Peter's Spiritual Temple," this is the kind of place that has spades of mystery in its shrouded reputation.
7. The Secret City
Oak Ridge is known for its association with World War II and the technology that culminated in the invention of the Atomic Bomb. It may not be our brightest moment as a state, but Oak Ridge employed quite a few Tennesseans during its years of scientific research.
6. The Belmont Mansion
Belmont University is no longer associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, but the historic mansion on the grounds and weekly chapel meetings keep the private school solidly on historic and religious ground. Many weddings are held on campus, and you can tour the mansion if you're so inclined.
5. Nashville Parthenon
Nashville is known as the, "Athens of the South" for its broad range of universities and higher education, and the name is only supported by the massive to-scale production of the Athens Parthenon in Centennial Park. You can visit the museum inside for a small fee, or you can throw a frisbee on the lawn out front. Completely up to you!
4. Raccoon Mountain Caverns
Located just outside of Chattanooga, the highest rated caves in Tennessee make for some of the most beautiful below-ground views of our rocky state. Take a look at their wild cave tours and take a bit of time away from the crush of everyday life - it can't follow you underground, right? Right.
3. The Bell Witch Cave
Oooh…there's nothing like a good ghost story, wouldn't you say? Located in Adams, the legend of the Bell Witch is one of the most terrifying and eerie in the state. Andrew Jackson even spoke out about the terrifying poltergeist, vowing that he would never stay the night at the Bell Farm. Gulp. Now you can take a tour and experience the eeriness all on your own.
2. The Lost Sea
The Lost Sea is located in Sweetwater, Tennessee, and it's the second largest underwater lake in the world, coming in at #1 here in the United States. You can take a tour and hop on their glass bottomed boats to truly experience the expansive space underneath ol' Rocky Top.
1. Lookout Mountain
Known as one of the best views in the states (the Great Smoky Mountains give this gorgeous vista a run for its money!), Lookout Mountain is shared by Georgia and Tennessee, great for tourists and locals alike.